Suspicious betting patterns as Argentina B thrashed by Nigeria (video)

Argentina's players try to look suitably disappointed after a sound beating from Nigeria

Argentina’s ‘Under-25’ B-team played a friendly in Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday, and got thumped 4-1 by a home side who looked infinitely more up for the match than their visitors. A side captained by Pablo Zabaleta were 3-0 down at half time and only got a consolation from the penalty spot after a farcical decision in the 98th (!) minute. A significant number of bets had been placed on a 4-1 scoreline, and in the 87th minute in-play betting sites were still offering odds-on for a fifth goal, even though Argentina looked shot and Nigeria uninterested in adding to the rout. I should point out that I’ve heard all of this from UK-based users on Twitter; absolutely no-one in the Argentine press is claiming the game was rigged. But take a look on this video at the penalty Argentina were given at the death, and let me know what you think…

International friendly, 1st June 2011: Nigeria 4 – 1 Argentina

The penalty from which Nigeria make it 2-0 is dubious enough, but the one Argentina were awarded late on was apparently given for hand ball. Seriously.

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11 thoughts on “Suspicious betting patterns as Argentina B thrashed by Nigeria (video)

  1. I’m not buying the betting angle.

    Just two minutes before the ref gave ARG that penalty, a Nigerian defender brought BERTOLO down inside the box and it was as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see in your life.

    I mean…if the ref had instructions to give ARG a penalty, that was a golden opportunity.

    I’m more of the opinion that the ref was just bad. The penalty he gave Nigeria in the first half was almost as ridiculous as the one he gave Argentina near the end.

    1. Haha… I wouldn’t go that far. I can’t ever remember seeing a penalty anywhere near that ridiculous before! The odds for a fifth goal also seemed very strange considering the way the game was going at that point. And the ref was so bad I can easily imagine he thought he was trying to help Nigeria to a clean sheet with the Bertolo challenge before someone had a word in his ear…

  2. A sterling display by Argentina and the ref. I was entranced throughout the match with the general quality of play, Argentina’s vim and vigor, and the eagle eye determination exhibited by the arbiter. At times I felt as though I were floating…yes, floating…about 30 meters over the pitch, relaxing on my back, yet I could see the play below me without turning to look down. An out of body experience I will never forget.

  3. I didn’t anything wrong with the refs performance except for the injury time penalty for argentina. overall he let the game flow nicely. good performance by nigeria. did what was expected against the team that was put out by batista. maybe next time batista will honor his national colors properly. in the end it was still a full senior international game, and that is what counts.

  4. Announced in The Buenos Aires Herald this morning that FIFA is investigating the match between Argentina and Nigeria. I won’t review it here, but a look at the betting patterns, particularly involving that last goal by Argentina (and the mucho extra minutes) nearly defy any explanation other than one involving malfeasance.

    1. Absolutely. I might also mention that the British press picked up on the dodginess of this game a full two days after yours truly. Slightly forgiveable in that they weren’t watching it or paying attention to anyone tweeting about it, of course, but still…

  5. It will quite be absurd to think this match between Nigeria and Argentina was fixed. The last penalty was quite controversial but better ones could have been awarded to either side before then because there were clear calls for that. The referee wasnt that bad as he allowed the ball to flow. The Nigerian side simply outplayed the Batista side, who perhaps underestimated them. Argentina has never won Nigeria with wide margin, even the lone goal at South Africa, according to FIFA, ought to have been disallowed. The margin has always been 1-0, 2-1 and no more. That must have made Batista to exclude Messi, Higuain, Tevez, Di Maria. Let me tell u, all these cant still play together as they are all attackers. So even if they had played, Argentina would have still lost. Batista did nothing wrong by inviting new players. Coach Siasia of Nigeria also played with 80percent new players. Most of them did not go to World cup. Only Taiwo, Yobo, Kalu and Enyeama were at the World Cup and two of these were substituted in the first half.
    I think Argentina need to go and rebuild their team and not make silly excuses. I equally advise your press to be vibrant instead of exhibiting signs of intellectual rustiness. I have been to Nigeria and I know despite being underdeveloped, they are of quality in every filed including press vibrancy and sports. thanks

    1. You set FIFA up as the great arbitrator (‘according to FIFA’, Heinze’s goal should’ve been disallowed last summer – not a point I disagree with), but are ignoring the fact that FIFA have announced they’re going to investigate the game for match-fixing.

      Regarding why Messi, Higuaín, Tevez etc were excluded: I know the reason very well. Batista has made it public many times. This is a team of players who are on the verge of breaking into the national team, not intended to be Argentina’s strongest XI in the here and now.

      As for ‘my press’, I assume you mean the Argentine press (though I’m not Argentine). I totally agree the Argentine press are rubbish, but I fail entirely to see what that’s got to do with whether or not this match was fixed, sorry.

    2. You miss the point Austin. The point is the outrageously skewed betting patterns at the end of the match focussed on the odds of a last goal by Argentina. This is where something happened if something happened, and odds are that kind of thing doesn’t happen often. Rarely even. Unless there is dirty money involved and a ref on the take. It does happen.

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